Kate McDowell, a freelance photographer and owner of the building at 19 Front St. in Greenport, used to operate Kate’s One-Hour-Photo at that location. While the need for film processing has surely diminished in recent years, the demand for artisan foods is on the rise. So she has renovated the space, re-christened it Kate's Cheese Co., and filled it with 50 types of cheese, as well as charcuterie, olives, and locally made delicacies including chutney, jam and honey.
Of her decision to open the shop, she cites the appeal of working with family. “There weren’t too many things that could actually get me to return to punching a clock. Going into business with my son and daughter-in-law, that was the real draw.” Louisa and Devin Hardman are her partners. All three aim to make Kate’s a place to hang out and enjoy good food and drink, as well as a retail destination. There are couches, coffee tables and a unique bar constructed on top of the hood of a vintage pickup truck, where customers can enjoy a cheese platter or grilled cheese sandwich along with a glass of local wine or craft beer. Coffee from North Fork Roasting Co. in Southold is also available. A semiprivate room at the back of the store can be booked for special events, which Kate’s can cater.
In the planning stages for the fall are a class in painting, wine and cheese, a class on wine-and-cheese pairings, and a class on cooking with cheese. McDowell is also looking for ways to partner with other local merchants, like Greenport's Little Creek Oyster Farm and Market, for special events. In the meantime, visitors can enjoy the work of four local artists currently exhibiting at the shop.
Kate’s Cheese Co., 19 Front St., Greenport, 631-333-2722.